Year in Review – Spring 2018

Global Awareness:

In my first two years at Ohio State I have taken a few classes which exposed me to the world outside of the United States. Most notably I have taken a photography class which showcased the different styles of photography around the world and a seminar on the differences between comics, anime, and dessin animé. I am planning to continue to take course work that will expose me more ideas and culture from other areas of the world including Scandinavian literature class, a history of art class, and a history class on Tudor England. I also plan to pursue research abroad. Many of the best laboratories in the world are outside of the United States. I would especially like to work in a European country because I will probably be working with ESA, the European Space Agency, later in life since I want to work for NASA and because I may want to apply to graduate school in a European country if they have the kind of research I want to be doing. There is a lab in Germany that offers internships for the summer that I am interested in applying for next summer that would allow me to experience a lab in Europe. It is a good idea to learn about how labs in Europe differ from America so that I have knowledge about to understand the difficulties my colleagues might have.

Original Inquiry:

The last two summers I have done research focused improving the Hamiltonian for the ammonia molecule at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and I enjoyed learning about all the different types of research while there. This summer I will also be working at JPL on an instrumentation project designed to determine the chirality of molecules and ultimately help in the search for live in our universe. I have also begun my art minor by taking a class in digital photography which allowed me to produce some of my favorite photographic series including one of self-portraits and a photographic book of fairytales.  In the next two years here, I plan to continue with my art minor as well as find a lab position in Ohio State’s Astronomy department so that I can produce a senior thesis.

Academic Enrichment:

I am a physics and astronomy double major. I haven’t decided if I want to go get my doctorate degree in physics or in astronomy, but I know that either way I want to use both in my future. I have designed my Honors Contract to allow me to take all the necessary course work for me to graduate and move on to graduate school with the tools I will need to succeed going into graduate school. I decided to add an art minor because I love art and I think it is important to cultivate my creativity. Art is a great stress reliever that allows me to be a happier and healthier student which will also help me to succeed. I view college as an opportunity to learn about all kinds of things I will never otherwise have had the ability to and I picked my GEs to be the most interesting classes to me, even if they have nothing to do with physics or astrophysics. I love to learn and I am using my time at Ohio State to learn as much as I can about everything I care about.

Leadership Development:

I have never had trouble being a leader. My leadership issues stem more from the fact that I tend want to be the leader and am not comfortable as a follower and that I am over cautious. So I have joined a few clubs as a general member. Most important to my career in physics, I work on physics with a group of people which allows me to understand how other people think and approach problems which is important for working in groups in the future. In the future I plan to work with the astronomy department to help retain students and I am also planning on working as a tutor, both of which will help me learn how to approach and discuss important topics in my future career.

Service Engagement:

While I have yet to begin to do any community service, I’m very interested in talking to girls in the community about math and science, I think it will help a lot of middle school girls to know that math and chemistry and physics are not just careers for men. I have been looking into community service opportunities that would allow me to reach out into the community and do such a thing, such as the American Association of University Women. I am also planning on tutoring student athletes for SASSO, because being able to teach others concepts is often the best measure of understanding. In addition, tutoring student athletes will help me understand the different priorities and viewpoints of the people around me and expand my understanding of how other people think.

 

JPL Research 2017

This summer I once again worked in the Spectroscopy lab at JPL analyzing the spectrum of ammonia. Unlike last year however we actually got publishable results out of the effort. I used SPFit, a spectrum fitting software, to fit 1281 unpublished transitions with 2141 published transitions resulting in a linelist of 3482 transitions for the 3n2and n4+nbands of ammonia. Previously these bands had not been fit to experimental accuracy due to the complexity of ammonia’s molecular behavior, however this summer we were able to achieve what had previously never been done. Ammonia is one of the most abundant molecules in the universe so a better understanding its spectra will help astronomers understand the composition of the objects they are studying.

JPL Research 2016

In the 11th grade I made the decision to join my school’s brand new IB Diploma program, and be a member of Los Angeles Unified School District’s first ever International Baccalaureate graduating class. The challenge of being in that first ever class wasn’t that the classes were difficult, although they were, it was that all of us had no idea what was going on. Teacher and students, all of us fumbled through the two years that made up the IB program. The obstacles we faced were what made the program a truly satisfying intellectual experience. Going through the IB program gave me the courage to apply to work as an intern at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Despite my utter lack of experience I was hired. As a result I spent the summer before my freshman year at OSU analyzing lines of ammonia spectrum in order to find the lower state energies of the transitions that could not be assigned using the Hamiltonian model. This involved using a Linux based computer to fit a synthetic spectra to the observed data. The result of my ten week long internship was that I had found all of the line positions but only 30 of the 3000 lines I analyzed had trustworthy intensities. The method I was using to fit the ammonia lines did not work with such a complex molecule. As a result I learned a valuable lesson, not all research goes according to plan and much less works. Although I have no desire to be a spectroscopist, I enjoyed the experience and the chance to do research at such a young age. I have always loved the idea of exploring the universe’s secrets; I hope to pursue a PhD in Astrophysics after my time at Ohio State comes to a close.

About Me

My name is Jeniveve Pearson. I grew up in Los Angeles, California. I enjoy photography, drawing, reading, and swimming. I went to high school at Eagle Rock Jr/Sr High School, a public high school in LA. Since coming to Ohio State I have begun pursuing a double major in Astronomy and Physics and a minor in Studio Art. Outside of school I have been lucky enough to work as an intern in the Spectroscopy Lab at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California since 2016. I love being able to work in a laboratory environment, especially when I get to do hands on work. I am interested in exploring all the different areas of physics and astronomy at OSU, and doing more research. I have always loved the idea of exploring the universe’s secrets; I hope to pursue a PhD in Astrophysics after my time at Ohio State comes to a close.

G.O.A.L.S.

Global Awareness:

I plan to do some research abroad. I will do research abroad, many of the best laboratories in the world are outside of the United States. I would especially like to work in a European country because I will probably be working with ESA, the European Space Agency, later in life since I want to work for NASA. It is a good idea to learn about how labs in Europe differ from America so that I have knowledge about to understand the difficulties my colleagues might have.

Original Inquiry:

I want to do undergraduate research on campus as well, I’m going to do a thesis. This summer I did research on NH3 spectrum at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and I enjoyed learning about all the different types of research while there. I will most definitely explore Ohio State’s research opportunities.

Academic Enrichment:

I am part of the Astronomical Society and Photography Enthusiasts club this year, and I plan to continue my involvement in both clubs throughout my time at OSU. As my college experience broadens I want to become an active member in a couple more clubs as well. I am going to take challenging classes both in and outside of my field of study.

Leadership Development:

I have never had trouble being a leader. My leadership issues stem more from the fact that I tend want to be the leader and am not comfortable as a follower and that I am over cautious. So during my time at OSU I want to work on improving those things. I need to learn to work more seamlessly with others by joining more group events. And I’m going to put myself out there more to deal with my over-cautious tendencies.

Service Engagement:

I’m very interested in talking to girls in the community about math and science, I think it will help a lot of middle school girls to know that math and chemistry and physics are not just careers for men. I have been looking into community service opportunities that would allow me to reach out into the community and do such a thing, such as the American Association of University Women.